Friday, April 3, 2015

Annie Cooper Boyd, Artistic Influences

by Annie Cooper Boyd
Courtesy Sag Harbor Historical Society
From what I've read in Annie Cooper's diaries, the beautiful landscape of Sag Harbor and the surrounding countryside were her greatest artistic inspirations. She appears to have been a naturally gifted artist at an early age. Annie was also fortunate to have some formal training. While in NYC she studied with the "Misses Granbery". 

I took painting lessons of the Misses Granbery on East 47th St, New York. Everyday for a month and worked real hard at it. I did enjoy it more than I ever can tell anyone. Since my return I have painted quite a good deal, keeping up my practice, paint an hour or two every day if possible. I so hope that my kind Heavenly Father will prosper me in my chosen profession and beloved Art, for I do love it and now what I want to do is to have a class in painting next fall and winter, and to sell my work, get orders etc. so that I may be able to help support myself and the family expenses to help bear. I am 22 years old and I think that it is only right that I should be doing some things, and I consecrate my work all to God's service. - Diary April 7, 1887
by Annie Cooper Boyd
Courtesy Sag Harbor Historical Society
I have sent for my teachers to come here for a month to give me lessons, Misses Virginia and Henrietta Granbery, where I studied this past winter... - Diary May 22, 1887 

The small watercolor below by Henrietta Granbery is in the Annie Cooper Boyd collection of the Sag Harbor Historical Society. I am wondering if it is a gift to Annie painted during her visit to Sag Harbor.
Watercolor by Henrietta A. Granbery
Annie Cooper Boyd Collection
image courtesy of the Sag Harbor Historical Society
Peonies in an Oriental Vase by Henrietta A. Granbery (1829-1927)
1891 oil on canvas 36.5" x 26.5" image via 
Raspberries by Virgina Granbery (1831-1921)
image via
Annie also studied at the Shinnecock summer art school which was taught by William Merritt Chase beginning in 1891. Her diary entry from October 3, 1896 mentions that she studied with "Langley". This artist and teacher is most likely Charles Elmer Langley who is listed on the Parrish website as being at the Shinnecock School. I also found mention of Langley in the October 1899 "Brushes and Pencil" describing him as the Chief Instructor at the Chicago School of Art for the 1899-1900 season. 
Landscape by Charles Elmer Langley
oil on paper/panel 16 1/4" x 20 1/4"
Luther College Collection image via
Below is a photo dated 1897 from Annie's collection at the Sag Harbor Historical Society. Annie's watercolor appears to be painted from nearly the same vantage point.  
Photo Courtesy of Sag Harbor Historical Society
William Chase Shinnecock Studio by Annie Cooper Boyd
Watercolor courtesy of Sag Harbor Historical Society
Of course there is the inspiring William Merritt Chase himself.
The Fairy Tale by William Merritt Chase 1892
Shinnecock Hills Summer School 1891 - 1902
Photograph courtesy Kate Freeman Clark Collection
Marshall County Historical Society
Holly Spring, Mississippi via
Annie gives us a glimpse of the Sag Harbor that was. 
North Haven Bridge by Annie Cooper Boyd
The old wood bridge between North Haven and Sag Harbor, the Presbyterian (Old Whalers) Church before it lost its steeple in a hurricane. Annie memorializes it all in watercolors.
Presbyterian Church by Annie Cooper Boyd
Old Whalers Church
Courtesy of Sag Harbor Historical Society
I am painting Easter Cards to sell for the Church. 
Mr. Tabor is going to sell them at his store. 
have made him promise not to tell my name. 
- Diary February 28, 1886

Reading about her, Annie seems such an interesting artist and woman. She is the kind of person that you read about and think, "This is someone I wish I could have known."
Sources
Annie Burnham Cooper - Her Diary 1881-1894
Anchor To Windward, The Paintings and Diaries of Annie Cooper Boyd (written 1880 - 1935) - Edited by Carolyn Oldenbusch
The Early History of North Haven by Dorothy I. Zaykowski, Joseph Zaykowski with contributions by Ronald L. Lowe

2 comments:

  1. I was sure I had left you a little note here:)
    That Mini at night...can act up..


    I am painting Easter Cards to sell for the Church.
    Mr. Tabor is going to sell them at his store.
    I have made him promise not to tell my name.
    - Diary February 28, 1886


    Don't you feel you have seen these everywhere?:)
    And it was she?:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Annie was quite the little one woman greeting card company. I bet people have them tucked into "Gramma's boxes" all over town.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!